The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook (here) and twitter (here.)
The ELCA's official website has an "Ask the Pastor" blog where people can ask ELCA pastors a question. The most recent is called "Eternal Life for Everyone?" The question is whether the ELCA will line up with the heresy of universalism (that everyone is saved, whether one believes in Christ or not).
In part, here is how Pastor Monica answered:
...there are many who seek to bring salvation to people by way of threatening eternal damnation. It’s a fear tactic. ...God does not destroy the earth while saving a select few. This is not the God who sent his only Son not to condemn but to save. Again not just a few – but the whole world! ...Will we be judged? Yes. Where will we spend eternity? I trust the God of love who first loved us in Christ Jesus.
So, catch that, the whole world goes to heaven according to her.
Here in part is Pastor's David's response to the same question:
...The question is whether only the righteous will be resurrected, or will both the righteous and the wicked be resurrected at Christ’s return? And on that question, many very intelligent and faithful people (much smarter than I) have written at length and disagreed....At the end of the day, the answer resides in God’s control and not in mine. My trust is in God’s grace, and my hope is in the resurrected Jesus Christ. I will let myself be satisfied with the mystery, and know that all will be clear when God makes it so.
So, one pastor says all will be saved, the other says says it is a mystery. The Bible teaches differently. There will definitely be a resurrection of the just and unjust. The Old Testament teaches this (Daniel 12:2) as does Jesus Himself (John 5:29). And the verses where Jesus talks about the reality of Hell are numerous (see, for instance, Matthew 25:46 where Jesus talks about eternal punishment). And, yes, faith is Christ is necessary for salvation (Acts 16:31, Romans 3:26).
Is it any wonder that the number of missionaries in the ELCA has gone down since its founding in 1988? If everyone is saved, lets bring the missionaries home.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
5/15/2015 10:20:40 pm
Universalism, relativism, and solipsism are definitely ascendant in mainline Protestantism. A respondent to a PCUSA pastor's blog post on the Patheos "progressive Christian" site writes:
5/17/2015 03:57:07 am
Could you explain, Didaskalos, how your position is any different from the liberal Protestants. You both read the Scripture, you both interpret it for yourselves, and you both come to your own conclusions. What am I not seeing?
5/17/2015 07:10:57 am
I think Scripture interprets Scripture; interpretation is also buttressed by the historic, faithful Christian Church; the present, faithful Christian Church; and the individual born-again believer in Jesus Christ.
5/16/2015 02:11:23 am
"God does not destroy the earth while saving a select few"? What about Genesis 6-9? Oh, right, "it never really happened." So glad we can decide what kind of God He is on our own, and each have our own individual God. Why not just make an idol while you're at it?
5/18/2015 03:06:19 am
5/18/2015 04:35:09 am
The Bible says of itself that Scripture is the final authority and determiner of the Faith and that, moreover, all Scripture comes from God. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” "For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
5/19/2015 03:58:16 am
5/19/2015 10:50:54 am
Kathy, I believe the primary and best unity all born-again believers have is the unity of the Spirit: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.” Our unity isn’t dependent on our having exactly the same interpretations of the Bible (e.g., infant vs. adult baptism), but I think confessional Catholics and Lutherans would agree, Kathy, that these are vital, foundational, necessary-to-believe truths of the Christian faith:
5/19/2015 12:24:27 pm
In the Biblical passages that are referenced from 1 John, God in Christ loved us first because the writer of 1 John was talking about those who are of the family of faith. It is not a reference to the world in general. Yes, from God's side God so loved the world. But from the perspective of the person, that love must be received by faith. God may love the whole world but that doesn't mean that all will be saved. "God so loved the world that he gave...so that WHOEVER believes..." Each person in the world is addressed by God with this message. But each person must walk the path of faith for him/herself for salvation to be effective in their life.
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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